Many years ago I was building a fence and needed to trim the palings in a straight line. So I went to a friend to borrow his power saw. I saw him remove it from a vice, unplug it from the wall and change the blade as he had been cutting ceramic tiles. He told me to be careful as the safety guard was not working as it should. By this stage a number of warning bells should have gone off in my head. They didn’t. All I was thinking about was the easiest ways to trim the top of the fence.
When I got to the fence in question, I placed the saw on the ground near my foot and plugged the saw cable into the live extension cord I had arranged. Immediately the buzz saw sprang into life and raced across the grass. I did not have time to move my foot but instinctively I pulled my toes in. The saw sliced off the top of my sneaker and sock but left my toes without a scratch. It stopped when it cut through its own cord.
Ever since I treated power saws, in fact, all power tools with far more respect. It could have been a more painful lesson, but thankfully it wasn’t. I should have noted all the clues leading up to the incident but I was more interested in getting the job done easily.
How often do we need to learn the hard way rather than having listened and accumulated wisdom from those around us; those who have walked certain paths and learned lessons before us?
Proverbs 12:15 declares: The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice. I was a fool. It did teach me to listen and watch more carefully. But in so many areas of my life it is a lesson I need to learn and learn again.